Can Online Budgeting Programs Really Work for College Students?

Online budgeting programs tend to be a matter of personal preference, especially for college students. Some might not be ready for the commitment to constant financial money-management. However, the benefits might be worth the time and effort to stay current with your finances. Schools offering Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

budget

Online Budgeting Programs for College Students

Living on a budget can be stressful, especially when you're just starting to learn money management. Some financial companies realize that everyone slips up from their set rules, now and then, and they've created new online budgeting programs to help students overcome their weaknesses. But are they really helpful?

Why Should I Use an Internet Budgeting Program?

Whenever we do something that isn't in our nature (such as dieting, exercising or saving money) it only makes sense that we'll slip up. This is why more dieters are switching to weight-loss programs that provide support groups. When you have someone to encourage your efforts or to guide you through a difficult process, you're more likely to stick with it. That's why study groups work and fitness magazines tell you to find a gym buddy. Saving money is no different, and there are a few points you should consider.

Some Are Free

Internet companies often make their money through advertising. When they do this, they can offer their services for free, which is to your benefit. The catch is that they advise you to switch to specific banks and accounts that sponsor them. For impressionable students, this pressure can cause a disaster.

Easy-to-Use

Once synced to your bank and credit card accounts, certain websites or companies can categorize all of your spending. The downside is that some programs don't allow you to create your own categories, so if you wanted to have two individual savings accounts or a spot for something like pet care, you can't. Don't discount these programs immediately, though - many let you make your budget personal (and those that don't are always updating their programs with different categories).

Some Are Religiously Oriented

When you find a budgeting program that aligns with your beliefs, you're more likely to listen to that program's suggestions. Budgeting programs like Financial Peace University train you how to spend and save your money while putting your religious principles behind it. While they will likely include an area for tithing or charity, you may already want to budget for these expenses.

They Train Your Brain

Along with providing support, budgeting programs also provide knowledge. Even though they do a lot of work for you, they usually introduce you to terms and money-saving techniques you may be unfamiliar with, so if you ever decide to leave the program or venture into self-budgeting you'll have a better handle on these steps.

Verified Programs

Many online programs are verified for security. This should provide the peace-of-mind that a bank account or online store does. Plus, these sites guarantee that they can only read your account, not access it to remove money.

Why Not?

There are a number of reasons why you may not want to use one of these online programs. It's a matter of taste and trust for the most part, but there are some things you should keep in mind.

They Ask for Personal Information

Some free budgeting sites ask you to give them your bank and credit card account information. The intent behind this is to fill in your past transactions. This way you can see how you've spent your money and can accurately find ways to reduce wasted costs. Of course, you may be uncomfortable giving out this kind of information (understandably!), even to a verified program.

Some Cost Money

Many of the programs out there charge for their services. The ironic part is that they ask you to pay so that they can tell you how not to spend money. Consider how valuable that service is before forking over cash.

They Tattle on Your Spending Habits

While these sites are usually verified, some of the programs make money by providing third-parties with your purchasing history and habits - using anonymous information, of course. This may make you uncomfortable, and if this is the case, consider sticking with a non-online budgeting program.

Less Money-Management

If you're not involved in categorizing your own spending, the impact of what you spent money on may not sink in. Also, many of these programs are snapshots of past spending. You already know that the money you spent is gone - so will it really help you for the future? Without more money-handling and number-crunching, you won't get a handle on how to save - so be sure to choose a program that has a future budgeting section (preferably one that allows you to see where money is slipping through your fingers).

Using an online budget may not be for you, but it's still important to budget. See how to make and stick to a student budget.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Maryville University

    Maryville University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Maryville University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Georgetown University

    Georgetown University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Georgetown University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. Next »